News Article

Pokémon Black and White Starters are Disappointingly Ugly

Posted by James Newton

Faces only a trainer could love

Want to see the Pokémon who'll be accompanying you on your next journey to become the world's greatest trainer? If the answer is "no", look away now.

Revealed in Coro Coro Magazine, the three starters do not yet have Western names but are known to fit into the well-established fire, water and grass triumvirate that has held up the series for over a decade.

At least the fire pig (hereby christened Hamferno) in the middle looks happy to be there, but we've already taken an instant dislike to the rather aloof grass Pokémon and feel nothing but pity for the dopey water-type starter.


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User Comments (166)



SherlockHolmes said:

The fire pig is by far the best out of all of them. I may just get the game for him. Fire pig FTW!



Noire said:


As always, the Fire-type is the best. But in this group, you don't have to do much.



Burn said:

Treecko, a fire pig, and a snowcone. I don't know how the series has stayed so fresh ._.



WolfRamHeart said:

These are pretty terrible. It's like they're not even trying anymore. So very disappointing.



Gavin_Rozee said:

They could be worse.

I am curious as to why the water-type one has a penis and testicles on his torso though....



Rensch said:

A lizard, a pig and an otter. We've seen all that before. Think up something NEW for crying out loud.

I love the looks of that pig though.



MasterGraveheart said:

A flaming monkey and now a burning pig? This is getting great, lol.

Y'know, we've criticized the apperances of some of these starters in the past, and yeah, these are the worst so far, but they've been good and have become cherished members of any team. From my level 55 Meganium to my level 97 Charizard, they all end up worthwhile members of any team.

Incidently, I actually like the apperance of the grass Pokémon best. You can call it Treeko, you can call it Cindiquil, you can call it Floatzel, you can call it alof, but if you try to mix all these into one, do you not, in fact, get something completely different?

...I still want a Blue Version special edition for DS though...



Faildude said:

I think they are pretty cool, except for the grass-type one because it looks way too similar to Treecko.
Apparently the protagonists are adults this time. Artworks of them have also been released in the same issue of Coro Coro.



TingLz said:

That grass one looks neat. The pig is cool. The

Hey, show what the female trainer looks like.....or rather what her hair looks like



Kirk said:

To be honest I think they are kinda charming.

Silly but charming.

And I know the girlies are just going to love them.



Roopa132 said:

wow. the pokémon are getting worse and worse. I most probably won't get the game just because of all the new pokémon.



FonistofCruxis said:

I used to like pokemon but I don't anymore and most of the pokemon in diamond/pearl/platinum looked stupid and it looks like it's going to get worse. I lol'd when I saw these, even more so when Gavin Rozee pointed out the penis and testicles on the water type.



advance_melee said:

Why does every Pokemon game start the same. Pick your starter always the same kind of types (grass,water,fire), then journey on. I wish there was a different way to start the game liek more variation on what Pokemon you get in the beginning.



V8_Ninja said:

How are they ugly? I sorta understand the flame pig (I mean, it's a PIG), but the others look fine. And besides, Game Freak has already used every design they could think of and now they're pulling stuff out of their @$$.



WildPidgeyAppears said:

Hey, just remember...with starters, it's all about the final evolution and I will choose mine based on that.

Mean time though, what will we call the pig? Pigroast? Swineflare? Or Hamferno?



SanderEvers said:

Why won't they just reuse old ones? I want a Pikachu as a starter :+
(without having to dig my copy of yellow up)



Kevin said:

As #24 said these are just the starters first forms. Relax guys. A fire pig? Cool idea. Could be the coolest pig since spider pig.



HipsterDashie said:

Whilst the other two look pretty decent, the otter thing looks like Piplup and Bidoof's lovechild.



AVahne said:

How the hell...This is horrifying! Gah, especially the water one, ugliest of the bunch. the fire pig, i can already think of food jokes for that and the grass one may at LEAST have some good evolutions but it's looking like it won't be as cool as Treeko and his evolutions

If the grass one gets a dragon sub-type later on, then i may forgive this



Pupil_of_Life said:

I don't care much for the fire pig (or its happy face that reminds me of that dumb emoticon that smiles while it looks away that nearly everyone on the internet likes for some reason) and I don't like the otter, it looks too much like a clown (by the way I rolled my eyes on Gavin Rozee's stupid comment when he said that the seashell on its stomach looked like genitals). I do kind of like the grass starter, but I agree with people when they say it looks like a snooty Treecko rip-off.

And thumbs down to Mr. Newton for this article. Regardless on whether or not I agree with him, I don't like that he used this article to voice his opinion on the new starters, especially the title. Please leave your opinions in the comments like everyone else!



RyuZebian said:

Is it just me or did pokémon designs use to be simpler..? Oh, wait. I just remembered Squirtle from first gen. My mistake, some pokémon have simply always looked wierd... I bet there are gonna be cool looking ones this gen too!



Denkou said:

yeah... i thought the exact same thing. shame really. i actually liked the fan made starters a lot better. the water one really does look pathetic. poor little....



mjc0961 said:

You guys have never seen Probopass and Magnezone, have you? These new starters are extremely attractive compared to those two.

...Okay, anything is attractive compared to Probopass and Magnezone, but still, I don't get all the uber-hate for those three.



y2josh said:

I'll wait til I see the evo's to be upset. Fire Pig and white circle head has potential.



Megumi said:

I bet the others will evolve into something epic while the pig will look ugly on the 3rd evolution. XD



ueI said:

I love the grass one. I don't like the other two very much. The water one is the worst. The fake starters are amazing, even if the third one doesn't look like a water type. I can see why you hate probopass mjc, but magnezone isn't so bad.



TheBaconator said:

I sort of like them let me get a closer look... ARGH! My eyes they're melting.

And That's why I haven't enlarged the picture yet.



Egg_miester said:

i like them, i wish the grass snake looked more snakeish truthfully said i am more disappointed with the male characters look just looks like red a year or two later



Knux said:

Oh dear, they are just as unappealing as Generation III's starters.



JackMack said:

I think the ugly duckling water type will turn all Gyarados on us while we laugh at our newly evolved fire-boar.



DarkLloyd said:

sweet i'll be buying black and white with black being my main version and getting the other 2 starters from pokemon white and starting off with 3 in the begining



TwilightV said:

All the fire starters (minus maybe Cyndaquil) have been based on species that already have representation in the series. So they've been the least interesting to me.

I love that water starter.



pkmnguy said:

I think the grass one is the coolest. i don't understand why everyone thinks the pig one is cool. the sea otter one is just a weird copy of piplup....



Starkiller said:

I think that they were pushing Pokemon with Diamond. They can't keep making pokemon up forever, and I have no instant attatchment to any of those pokemon (not even the pig). Maybe they should sit down and rethink the Pokemon formula with the pokemon that exist already before they ruin it forever...

My 2 cents. But who knows, maybe this game will be the best of the bunch, despite a few ugly starters.



BobberyFan98 said:

@Burn: I hope you where joking, because that Pokemon is definitely not Treecko.

Yeah, these are some of the ugliest mugs I've ever seen.




Digiki said:

With RSE Treeko was ugly, with DP we got ugly chimchar and ugly Turtwig, now we go ugly all three!



WarioPower said:

The pokemon on the left looks the best. But the others look ok. I don't get all the hate.



bro2dragons said:

these are horrible... if i had to pick, though, i'd go with the otter, because i've always had a thing for them, but i'd say the fire pig is probably going to be the best, stat wise.

@GonzoMontana: wow. those ARE awesome. i really wish Game Freak would hire some outside guys (like whoever did those) to create the new mon.... their staff seems to be running out of ideas.



Sneaker13 said:

@ GonzoMontana, holy crap. Does are awesome. They should use those.

About these three starters. I'm only excited about the fire pig, the other two are terrible. This is why I don't like later Pokémon games. Just to freaking many Pokémon.



Jimmy_721 said:

I Hate the water one! I assume it will turn out to evolve into a water and ice type! The pig will probably be fire and ground, considerings pigs play in the mud. The grass one will probably be grass and poison because snakes are usualy poisoness.
Im hoping it will turn out to be dragon or ground though.



Jimmy_721 said:

It might actualy be phychic. I perfer the grass type! It looks awesome and more original to the Turtwig pig and Gross Piplup deformity



GamerZack87 said:

@Gavin Rozee: Those, uh, 'appendages' of Mijumaru's appear to be a shell, what with it being based on an Otter (much more so than I thought Buizel and Floatzel are).

And the pattern continues with my preference of the starters:
Gen 1: Grass -> Fire -> Water;
Gen 2: Fire -> Water -> Grass;
Gen 3: Water -> Grass -> Fire;
Gen 4: Grass -> Water -> Fire;
Gen 5; Fire -> Grass -> Water...

Bear in mind though that I usually like all Pokemon equally (yes, even the outcasts like Mawile and pre-4th-Gen Sneasel), and once again I'm impressed with the new Starters. I'm also more than a little surprised that the main characters are teenagers/young adults now. And since I'm likely to ditch Pokemon after 5th Gen (due to my most despised number appearing in the National Dex in 6th gen), it looks like it's going to be a great one for Pokemon!



Klapaucius said:

Seems this was incorrectly labelled as "news"... your opinion on their appearance is not "news", no matter how important you might consider your own opinion to be...



Ricardo91 said:

Amazingly enough, the fake versions were actually a lot better looking than the real thing. The bastard child of Cyndaquil and Treeko, a fire pig, and some kind of otter/beaver/snowman thing? No thanks. The fire pig causes the least pain to my eyes, so I'll probably pick that one.

Unless they create a Shuckle evolution, I'm probably gonna skip this gen altogether...



Mabbit said:

its like theyre just ripping off their other games
the grass starter looks like treeko
the water starter looks like piplup
and the fire pig looks like chikorita



SSBbrawler08 said:

Geez, you guys are so harsh. This is a kids game. I've already asked kids what they thought and they love the otter-thing. I personally like the Grass-type



MarkyVigoroth said:

When I saw Pokabu, I instantly wanted him as my partner. (For different reasons, I want to call him Nanba and teach him Headbutt if possible!)

(Wait... I AM a trainer, and those Pokemon ARE faces that only a trainer could love...)

By the way, a few people on dA (including me) noted that Tsutaaja looked a lot like Excalibur from Soul Eater (even though I have not heard of the anime until someone else told me about the similarity between the silhouettes...)
I think I just worsened Tsukaaja's opinion, now...



Sean007s said:

They look pretty amazing.
Better than anything I've ever seen before.
Better than any Pokemon starters in any of the previous Pokemon games.

Because a fire pig is just that awesome.



WildPidgeyAppears said:

the irony of the Water-type is that in HG, Totodile was my starter and totally rocks...Squirtle, Piplup, and even Mudkip were pretty cool, but this Water starter has no redeeming qualities. And the Grass type is kinda cute although I mostly dislike Grass as an element type (Torterra rocks though).



Simon_Deku said:

Fire pig=like that cra-z pig wilbur. Otter= ugliest pokemon ever(piplup) made even uglier. Snake= awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



DarkEdi said:

i want that fire piggy, but the others looks crap, the water looks wario´s pinplup



Quiz112 said:

I kinda like these starters.
Although the fire pig could've looked a bit better. It's not that bad.
An otter with a shell symbol for a water type seems pretty good. Kinda reminds me of Pascal from the Animal Crossing series. It's head looks a bit odd though.
I didn't like the grass starter at first but I'm kinda liking it now.



Bassman_Q said:


They seriously need a bird grass starter and a lion fire starter. But a copycat Treecko, a pig that looks like its wearing underwear, and a panda-bear looking otter? Seriously? It seems HeartGold will be the very last Pokemon game I will ever purchase.



BL_Donth said:

The water starter is sad because it got the crappy end of the stick.

I still like Mudkips better.



Jimmy_721 said:


Or will it!?

I think they make up for it with the rest of the generation! Zoroark is realy cool!
Just think of all the new baby pokemon and evalutions from older Pokemon!



Token_Girl said:

I think the other two are cool, but that water type just looks so sad and pathetic. Hopefully it'll have some cool evolutions (I'd be super psyched if they each got a second type).



Jimmy_721 said:

I wonder if Dawn is gonna be replaced with this wierd manly girl and it will be like a petophile to poor Ash. Depends how old he is. As long as she doesnt choose the otter ill be happy as that pig seems to be.



WildPidgeyAppears said:

To all the people bummed about the Water one: if you don't pick him, you'll probably end up getting a Gyarados for the umpteenth time anyway, so quitcher griping.



TJ_Spyke said:

Actually, we DO know the names of the starters (so the article is wrong). These are the Japanese names of coarse and thus will be changed for the English translation.The grass starter is Tsutaja and is called a Grass Snake Pokemon. The fire starter is Pokabu and is called a Fire Pig Pokemon. The water starter is Mijumaru and is called a Sea Otter Pokemon.

All 3 are ugly, Pokabu is the least ugly. I think Treecko now has competition for ugliest grass starter, I may actually start with Pokabu ( with the past games I always started with the grass starter).



Radixxs said:

First reaction: OMFG those things are ugly!

3hrs Later: I'm picking the green one.



ZarroTsu said:

Certainly these, as all others, are unique at least. The otter one verywell looks like a clown, and for all we know it might be INTENDED to become a clown-like. A giant evil otter-clown. It will drown you, and it doesn't NEED a squirt-flower.



Bzhon said:

When I first saw the silhouettes, the one on the left looked a bit like a snow pea pod, the one on the right could have been a platypus and the one in the middle I was hoping was an aardvark not a pig but that just me.
As it looks now these starters are very disappointing and I’m not sure I will even buy into this game.



Alexei123 said:

Aw! So cute! Ha. I really, kinda like them. They're much better than the 3rd and 4th generation starters at least!



LordJumpMad said:

I will put them in my Pant.

or in my PC, so I don`t have to look at them.

I'll just stick to my Magikarp.



WildPidgeyAppears said:

For the record, the pig looks like he's wearing a bandana, so...pirate fire pig? Ninja fir pig? Ninja-pirate fire pig?



James said:

My favourite set of comments since April 1st. Good work guys!

Incidentally, until we know different I'm going to refer to Fire Pig as Hamferno, because it's possibly the greatest name ever. Good work WildPidgeyAppears!



JimLad said:

Gex Jr, Pants Pig and Mr Cry
THOSE ARE THEIR NAMES you think of some



Chunky_Droid said:

Knowing Game Freak, the saddest looking of the bunch, the water type, will probably end up looking like Blackheart from Ghost Rider and kick all kinds of arse.

My favourite (and this is a first for me) is the grass one, I've always loved the water one most. But I'll wait for the evolutions



turtlelink said:

It always happens Chunky
Oh wow, same here. I like the grass one but i always pick the water one!



Haydengamer said:

Well this is the worst pokemons ever. But I like the graphics I was thinking they should like building that look like where we are looking at the ground. But pokemon gold and silver kicks but! Then I like pokemon platneuim ( I may got the word wrong ).



Chunky_Droid said:

Water rules, except here... so far.

Squirtle > Bulbasaur > Charmander
Totodile > Cyndaquil > OH MY GOD I CAN'T REMEMBER ITS NAME
Mudkip > Torchic > Treecko
Piplup > Turtwig > Chimchar

So far with this one it's Grass > Fire > Water



Radbot42 said:

I want the new water to look awesome when it evolves, but if chinchou is in this game, i would just end up getting that one. Water/electric for the win. Maybe it is finally worth getting a grass starter



advance_melee said:

Guys, lol, its a kids game. I dont think kids are gonna care how the Pokemon look, as long as they are different and new.



Bass_X0 said:

I always base my selection on what the final stage looks like, not the first stage.



J-CUP said:

i like pokemon if you people like it to got to my channel on youtube
ninetalesPKM iv just finished soul silver and im doing pokemon white in japaness in september



Brambleclaw11 said:

I am not too, too excited about this game. To be honest, I really stopped being a fan of Pokemon since Platinum... And since Dawn appeared. But I have got to say, that water one is a disgrace... I like the fire one and the grass one. That is my opinion.



Bobpie said:

I actually like them... but maybe I'm just a sucker for the pretty, pretty drawings.... So excited....



Bobpie said:

"Guys, lol, its a kids game. I dont think kids are gonna care how the Pokemon look, as long as they are different and new."
Couldn't disagree more...
Do you know about EV training and stuff? That's serious stuff.



Objection said:

I like the Grass one best need a new flippin' character designer. One that I thought Black and White was going to change things up. I haven't been this unexcited about pokemon since Ruby/Sapphire. So it looks like I'm not buying this.



ToastyYogurt said:

The water type is probably the ugliest Pokemon ever invented.
I thought the game already came out in Japan a month ago? Or maybe I was just freaking out?



jhuhn said:

The grass snake Pokemon is Tsutaja, the fire pig Pokemon is Pokabu and the sea otter Pokemon is Mijumaru.



NassaDane said:

I'm so impressed with GameFreak. These could be in the catagory of best starters ever! I have never liked every starter in a game but now that has changed. I have never thought to pick the water starter ever but i might actualy get the Otter its so so cute! Not sure how any one can think these are not original and unique. So excited for this game can't wait to play it later this year!



benraskull said:

Please let nintendo announce that the otter one is a joke! Its so UGLY! The other two are pretty good though, and the grass one looks nothing like treeko to me. I don't get all the hate for the fire and the grass, but the water one looks bad. Well the water pokemon have always been the worst looking starters IMO



HanuKwanzMasBif said:

Hmm, when I take a second look, the otter actually looks pretty adorable. The grass-type, however, is not acceptable.



JunioR_PlaY said:

This is just an opinion, but I think I'll choose the Grass-type one...
it gives me some kind of feeling...



Da0ne31 said:

Actually, I'm going to give these guys a chance. In this stage they look like stuffed animals... But i'll wait to see their final evolution before saying anything. Their final evolution have potential to look pretty cool. The thing that disappointed me most was seeing some of the other Pokemons that were released... =(



PokEkid said:

a lot of gen 1 fans thought thought that gen 2 would be but when they played it they loved it and just like comment 24 it only matters when they are fully evolved



Pokemon_Girl said:

the people who say "kids don't care what the starters look like as long as they are new'' are wrong. because i am a 10 year old girl and i think the pig looks like a freaking flaming ham wearing a bandanna and the otter thing looks like a 3 year olds imaginary friend. but maybe someone actually tried and made the grass type Pokemon actually look a little bit like a Pokemon. maybe the other Pokemon will be good, but if they are anything like the fire and water type, there game will never sell. oh, and my starter will be the grass type because these idiots who made the Pokemon are really bad at it and are making the game look like a freaking $2 game.



Pokemon_Girl said:

i agree with comment 146. the pig IS gross and the grass one DOES rule! Thank You Luckylucy for saying what is right



PokEkid said:

I don't know I think the water Pokemon is adorable, so I would probably start off with that



supercooldude1999 said:

uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh i hate these starters!!!!!!! the pig is named hamferno puthetic! the water type looks like a freeking clown!!! and the grass type looks too much like ummmmmmm i think its called treeko for peet sake nenntendo needs to think of better ideas!!!!!!



PokEkid said:

although i think a lot of people don't like the starters, the other things they have done for this generation is very nice i think



C_S said:

Played through Japanese White, beat the Elite Four.
I was forced to start with the water otter because (despite it being absolutely hideous) the final water evolution is one of the few passable Pokemon in this 5th generation.

Just have to say I did not enjoy this game. I stuck by Pokemon all the way to D/P, but even I have to accept that it is dead now. The new Pokemon are so positively sickening in appearance that my starter was level 75 at the Elite Four because I couldn't bear to train anything else I saw. Everything just seemed so sloppy and rushed with this game.
The only thing that can save it now is amazing end game content or equally stunning English dialogue.

Also, you oddly get Zekrom (black dragon) in the White version.



Water-Wind_Elemental said:

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl have less disappointing sprites like arceus and darkrai... now... worse (--_--; )
I hope the creator can put some more effort on the next gen. and hope the story will start differently! The unique pokemon will come to a chosen trainer. Guess who it is?
The Player!
Well guess i'll get the next gen release!



Pokemaniac said:

The fire type may seem nice at the moment but eventually it will evolve into (in my opinion) the ugliest one yet personally I fine the grass type to be the best out of all of them the ugly water type becomes an imitation Dialga. The grass type is the most original.



coolz85009 said:

I think the fire pig and the otter are a tie.(The grass type is not that good). But personally, I like the fire pig the best.



darkethan34 said:

The grass one is snivy, th water one oshawott*, and the fire one tepig.
*Oshawott's last evolution doesn't make sense: it's a UNICORN!



Wondertwigy12315 said:

I have a picture of all the evolutions of the pokemon and snivy(grass) is by far the coolest looking! The fire pig is an EPIC fail and like that one guy said the otter has balls and a wiener on its chest........i wonder if they will keep the changed apperence of the male and female pokemon....ifvthey do then lets hope all of the otters are guys i dnt even wanna know wat will be on the female otters chest!!!



Echo23 said:

snivy is weird go tepig

i also like axew its pretty cute

i am going to name my pig bacon or sausage but i don't know which
please use the 'Edit' link to edit your posts as opposed to double-posting, thank you — TBD

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